Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Don't Be Shy

I'm stunned at the growing number of new authors signed each month. I've been hanging around the publishing scene since the release of my debut novel, Prairie Peace, in 2003. I still recall what it felt like to be a newbie: the excitement, the thrill of holding my book and seeing my name in print, the pride of accomplishment, and the fear of the unknown. Sound familiar?

I had no idea what was expected of me once I had a book released. It seemed like my publisher just said, "Here ya go," and threw me out in the public...naked. This may sound strange, but I'm sure you can identify. I knew there were all kinds of things I needed to know, but I didn't know which questions to ask to get answers. So, I lurked. I signed up on loops, I read the posts, and hoped someone else would make inquiries that would teach me something. Is that how you feel?

So, here I am, almost six years later, much more polished, knowing far more than I did when I started, but still trying to find answers, but to different questions: how to find an agent, how to write the perfect query letter, will I ever see one of my books in Walmart? *smile*

There is no big secret to staying alive as an e-published author. The easy part is writing the book and getting it published...at least at this level. Then, you have to promote yourself in every way you can.

Every day, more and more people blog, launch websites, and join the tons of promotional sites on the internet. If you don't keep your name in the public eye, you can bet you will soon be forgotten. You can write the best book ever, but unless you let people know about it, it's going nowhere. That means garnering reviews, being interviewed, posting excerpts, going to chats, joining loops, and being a team player. The nice thing about our business is we are all working for the same goal...promoting ourselves and Internet publishing. If you have questions or need help, don't be shy. Just ask, I'm sure you'll find someone willing to step up. Pay it forward girls and guys. The more we promote one another, the more people learn about us all.

I'm doing my part from January 26-31. Twenty-five of my peers are coming to my blog and participating in "Bring a Character to Blog Week." I've given them instructions on using labels for their posts to help search engines pick up their info, issued the invitations, and now I sit back and enjoy the fun for six whole days. I can't wait to start reading. Believe me...this is a learning experience too. This is how I come up with new and innovative ideas, writing tips, and story lines. I've learned tons from my fellow authors.

I hope you'll stop by Dishin' It Out


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Ginger
Great article as usual, your words of wisdom, learnt the hard way I know, are very informative.


Ginger Simpson said...

Thanks, Margaret. I can always count on you to come and keep me from addressing an empty room. Thanks, my friend.


Anita Davison said...

Thanks for the advice, Ginger. It certainly seems to work in your case you are guest blogger everywhere at the moment. I'm exhausted reading the article - Excuse me while I go and put the coffee on!!

Katie Hines said...

Ginger, thanks so much for your great post! I've got a book coming out, and I'm trying like crazy to think of places to promote it, but feel a little stagnant right now.

Perhaps if in future posts, you could deal a little more with the marketing-publishing end.

Glad I read your post!

Anonymous said...

great interview, i admire all those that can get their thoughts and dreams written down for us readers to read

Lisabet Sarai said...

To be honest, Ginger, it's tough to keep on doing it. Your enthusiasm is catching, though!

Lindsay Townsend said...

Hi Ginger,
Super blog! I can really identify with all you say! Useful tips, too- thank you!
Best wishes, Lindsay

Lisa Logan said...

Great post...and yes, if we don't learn to be successful promoters, eventually our careers can fizzle out entirely. Though many believe that doesn't happen in epub, it really does.

Ginger Simpson said...

Thanks to everyone who visited and commented. I'll try to focus on areas I've found helpful for promoting and marketing my books. Yeah, like I'm Nora Friggin' Roberts. *lol*


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